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The Phylum Vendobionta: A Sister Group of the Eumetazoa?

Leo W. Buss and Adolf Seilacher
Paleobiology
Vol. 20, No. 1 (Winter, 1994), pp. 1-4
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2401145
Page Count: 4
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The Phylum Vendobionta: A Sister Group of the Eumetazoa?
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Abstract

We offer an alternative interpretation of the Kingdom Vendobionta as a monophyletic sister group to the Eumetazoa. We hypothesize that the Vendobionta are cnidarian-like organisms that lacked cnidae. Cnidarians are held to have arisen by acquisition of cnidae by symbiosis with a microsporidian. Our analysis differs from existing interpretations of the Ediacaran fossils as ancestors of extant cnidarians in that we do not regard any of these forms as either polypoid or medusoid. This interpretation requires the erection of a new metazoan phylum, the Vendobionta.

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